Thursday, 20 December 2018

Summing up 2018

Okay, so the year isn't over yet, but I don't expect to get any figure games in before the end of the year, so a count up for the last 12 months is possible. As I did for last year I've broken down all the games I've blogged about (which should be everything) into periods and rules. As last year I haven't included board games, except for "Fighting Sail", which is morphing into a favoured table top game.

First reaction is that's more games than last year, and I have got my average over 1 per week. That's quite impressive as I was out of the country for nearly 6 weeks in New Zealand in March. Part of the reason is that I've taken part in more all day games sessions, and done an extra conference over last year. I've also got 16 periods listed and 30 rule sets, so that's up on last year too. As last year I'm my most favourite rules writer, and the most anyone else got on the list was two sets, so well done Mike Elliott, Neil Thomas and Arty Conliffe.

No surprise that "Va t'en guerre" was the top set of rules played, as they were under development for over six months. What is a surprise is the dearth of rules from RFCM, with only an old set of Hammerin' Iron on there. I'd have thought PBI would have turned up at least once and also there's no "AK47 Republic" for a second year in a row. Last year I predicted a lot of "Hail Caesar" but I have been spared that. And only one game of AMW, same as last year.

"Dux Bellorum" is another real surprise inclusion, but that owes more to a friend's enthusiasm for them and also "Redcoats in the Sudan", which ended up being used as they filled a particular need. The real Dark Horse I would say however would be "Fighting Sail". Didn't see that one coming.

What does this set up for next year? The simply named "Medieval Skirmish" need to be finished off as my ADG for COW and it has been a while since I did anything with the Russian Civil War. Perhaps that's good guess for the coming 12 months. Oh, and the Jacobite Rebellions. That's a project I'll be picking up shortly, as the books have been read and the figures ordered.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

A Christmas Feast

After last week's player shortage we had a much bigger turnout for the pre-Christmas fun. In the end there were eight of us, - Richard, Tim, Chris K, Phil, Will, Steve, Dave the new boy and me. Probably a record for Shedquarters. Good job I bought the big box of mince pies.

Following on from my recent nostalgia post about all the games I've ever designed I thought I'd give a couple of the more light-hearted a run out. First up was "Warriors on Ice" a game from 1997 based upon the frozen pond fighting sequence in the second of the Dick Lester Musketeer movies.

The game uses big plastic figures, kindly donated to me by Ian RL, who used to be a group regular before he retired to the West Country. I can't remember where the bases came from, but they seemed to work well for showing the direction a figure was moving in. In addition to the figure, each player gets a rapier and pistol and two sets of movement arrows.

We had the Musketeers and Cardinal's men both trying to retrieve a secret package from a rowing boat frozen into the middle of a river. Here you can see Richard and Steve being quite thoughtful about where they are going (in Richard's case) or what to do now he has fallen over in Steve's. Phil, has also fallen over on the left, as has Will in the top right. Will has also knocked himself unconscious for 6 turns. Tim has "sprinted" towards the boat, and Dave has moved more tentatively. The red and blue arrows are so I can tell if a player has speeded up or slowed down.

Richard has made a direct line for the boat and gets there this turn.

He and Tim are soon fencing across the boat.

They succeed in both falling over having stabbed one another.

A quick close up of the combat system. You roll a number of dice into a box lid. The number gives severity, and where the dice fall on the target, location. I think Phil just shot Tim in the chest and killed him.

There sure is a lot of blood. Dave and Phil have now got to the boat, Dave dropping his pistol on the way.Lucky for him it didn't go off.

Soon everyone had converged on the rowing boat, and the corpses were mounting up. This surprised me a bit, as my recollection was that the combat system mostly resulted in everyone missing all of the time.

Several people tried to climb in the boat to search for the package. This was often a fatal move.

Although we did end up with a climactic duel in the boat. I don't recall who won, but someone did, and everyone announced themselves well satisfied.

For a game that had sat in its box since Tony Blair was first Prime Minister it played okay. I spotted a couple of things that could be improved, - there was a design issue in the original version that I knew I had but couldn't fix. Clearly I only had to wait until I grew up a bit to work out how to fix it.

The second game of the evening was one of my old favourites, - "Looting the Baggage".

This game, which involves a group of Landsknechts in post-battle action, has a drunkenness mechanism that uses headbands. If you look closely you'll see everyone has their level of sobriety on their forehead.

This is a confusing game as people riffle through tents and wagons (whoops, - got the latter rule slightly wrong) drawing playing cards that represent loot, booze and baggage train guards. As players rush around the chance of dropping loot and getting drunk or hurt increases.

There's also the odd random event. Phil got chased by a pig. It was hilarious, I can tell you.

I ended the game when Chris succeeded in blowing himself up rooting through the ammunition wagon (top left). I had to do this as I had forgotten how the game was supposed to end. That's the thing with simple one side of A4 rules you write 25 years or more ago. You quite clearly leave things out in the interests of brevity and then forget them. Anyway, Richard won with an incredible 79 points. The other players didn't do nearly as well, - Phil was the closest with c50 points, which was well done as he kept dropping stuff.

Well, I think that's it for the year. Next Tuesday is Christmas Day, and the Tuesday after that New Year's Day so I reckon everyone will be busy. I may try to squeeze a day game in if people are about.

On reflection it has been a pretty good year in Shedquarters. The annual rules development cycle gave me "Va t'en guerre" which I'm quite pleased with, and we did some other games which were different. The group of regulars has expanded quite dramatically, making for an even more convivial atmosphere.

Yes very few reasons to complain.

Monday, 17 December 2018

A Visit to the Holy Land or Snake Eyes for Saladin

Just in time for Christmas it was time for a Pilgrimage to Jerusalem. For our monthly boardgame outing Gary & I went for "The Crusades", from a 1978 S&T.

"The Crusades" was famously designed as a 6 or 7 multi-player game, then hastily retro-fitted to a two player game so it could go in the magazine. The multi-player game is the First Crusade, the two player the Third (you know, the one with Richard the Lionheart).

As there's only the two of us we played the Third Crusade.

I think everyone who really loves this game has fond memories of the multi-player variant. Both games have some interesting design ideas, - the smaller squares within hexes representing towns and castles - the importance of Generalship and the different tactics it produces to determine combat outcomes. The reduced counter mix forced on it by being in the magazine means there's a slightly inelegant army roster list for the Crusaders, which means pen and ink record keeping, as does the requirement to write orders each turn for simultaneous movement.

I was the Crusaders. First job is to get Richard there safely, which isn't straight forwards, due to the naval rules. There's something odd about turns that last two weeks+ that require fleets to be in ports at the end of the turn. If a turn is so long, then why do specific timings and locations become important when a fleet could have been at see for a week or more already? Anyhow, part of the consequence of this rule is that it's best for Richard to stop off in Cyprus and conquer it, as he did historically. Well, you get victory points too, so the delay isn't all bad. It was a good opportunity for practising beach landings too.

While this was going on I abandoned the siege of Acre as Saladin was heading my way with lots of troops. I holed everyone up in Tyre. This proved to be a magnet for the Saracens, who massed a large army and went to be-siege it.

They were thwarted by a beach assault by Richard and the English, combining with a load of other forces, or something like that. I bounced Saladin all the way back to Acre.

I didn't take many other pictures, - after all it's just a load of cardboard counters - but this is a frustrating game and there are a lot of nit-picky rules around movement and where you can and can't go.

Trying to capture Jerusalem, the main aim of the Crusaders, is quite awkward due to the restrictions on moving through desert hexes and the associated attrition. You need to get down the coast to Caesarea and Arsuf, then secure Ramleh as a forward staging post. Using the fleets to re-position my armies I trailed my coat from Caesarea to Arsuf as Richard had before me, and failed to get the Saracens to attack. Richard is the key man, as he can get serious column shifts in the Crusader's favour, turning fighting at a 1:2 disadvantage to 2:1 by using a better formation and superior tactics. The Saracens refused to bite.

As I couldn't get to Jerusalem I took most of my forces, less some garrisons, further down the coast, and then sailed to Egypt and captured Cairo. Gary took the opportunity to re-assemble his forces and return to attack Tyre whilst I was away. What he hadn't realised was that I had worked out I could respond with a lot of forces from different locations through the use of my various naval fleets. Just as he was readying a siege assault, King Richard came down like a wolf on the fold, with most of the Crusader forces, and trapped him against King Guy's men sallying out from the city. It was so brilliantly constructed as a sort of ambush I didn't even miss King Phillip of France and his men taking the hump and heading home as a random event (note: if you ever play this game, be sure to use Philip as the spearhead of all of your attacks and take the hits from his forces, so that when he goes home all his people are dead any way).

Anyway, back to the famous Battle of Tyre Beach. Lead brilliantly by England's King Richard we stormed up the beaches, out manoeuvred the Saracens and sent them off with massive losses. This included the death of a leader, - who turned out to be Saladin.

That rather knocked the wind out of Gary's sails as the first year of the game came to an end. I was clinging on to significant parts of the coast as well as all the important bits of Egypt. I was struggling to see how I would make any progress the next year, as I'd taken some losses - not as many as the Saracens - but they are definitely a finite resource as far as the Crusaders are concerned. I had pretty much come to the conclusion that I'd give up on Jerusalem and look for other victory points, whilst tempting the Saracens out to areas where I could fight them and inflict serious losses.

We were running out of time by this point, as well as enthusiasm for the game. As I said, its reputation is based on the First Crusade scenario. In order to play this scenario better I'd need to sit down with the map counters and charts (which I don't have) and really work at what should go where and when, and think about the order in which places are attacked. A lightening strike on Jerusalem via an overwhelming attack on Caesarea or Arsuf might be viable. Use of the fertile coastal plain keeps the Crusaders alive, and enables rapid strategic movement with the fleets. As for the Saracens I think the waiting game is the way to go, with also an attempt to cut the Crusaders off from supplies through the use of Naval  Blockades, especially as their ships all go home for the winter.

We stopped at the end of year one as it turned out we had to pack up early due to an unexpected domestic emergency, but neither of us was that disappointed.

Next month, - Vera Cruz.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Some Solo Lead Pushing

Nearly everyone else was busy on Tuesday. A combination of work and pre-Christmas events meant we were in single figures (i..e just me). As some of the cancellations were last minute and unexpected I had a full table of lead, so instead of just putting it all away I resorted to pushing around a few Pacific War units on my own. And trying out the camera in my new phone.

I'd set up a full scale invasion by the Peruvian/Bolivian Alliance. The Chileans were spread out over a series of hill lines. The Alliance was forced to adopt firing lines early on in order to make headway, whilst they dragged up the Gatling guns.

In the centre of the board the Bolivian horse had pushed forwards and was involved in a long rambling cavalry melee. There was quite a bit of too-ing and fro-ing, and something happened that I hadn't seen before, so I had to pop in a quick rule amendment.

The Bolivian Infantry Division hurried ahead, trusting to their cavalry to keep their flanks safe.

Meanwhile at the back, President Diaz was supervising the artillery being hauled up to the top of the ridge line.

The Chilean divisional commander had to gallop to the aid of his cavalry in the centre, who were taking a beating. Gave some thought to an officer casualty mechanism, and consulted my source books. It was quite rare amongst senior officers, even those who were active, unless they got cornered and were forced to fight to the last man.

The alliance had finally made progress against the Chileans on the first hill, having deployed everything they had and shot them off the hill line. I have tweaked the rules here too.

As the Bolivian infantry approached the farmstead they were greeted with heavy fire from the Gatling gun in the courtyard and were forced to deploy.

I stopped about there, very pleased with the developments I'd identified and satisfied with the new camera's performance. Besides it was getting quite cold without any more warm bodies to heat the place up.

Next week some fun Christmassy games. Perhaps.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Making up even more

As I said a couple of posts back in addition to writing a few sets of table top miniatures game rules, I have also got a fairly decent list of one off after dinner or participation games to go along with them. In fact, at one time, they seemed to be the only sort of games I could design, which was really frustrating as what I wanted to design were rules for table top figures games. Any how, this is the list, I think:

Otranto - 1982
A committee/war council game set in renaissance Italy, just after the Turks have occupied Otranto. Everyone played a different Italian State leader, and they had to agree what their collected response was. It was printed in Arquebusier, back in the day, when it was in the large A4 format.

Harrying of the North - c1986
A figure game of Normans attacking a peaceful Saxon village. It was designed as an "atrocity game", following a discussion about "black" wargames, and whether the passage of tie makes a difference to how we perceive evil deeds done in the past. I ran this at Triples, and got a commended participation award, I think. One of a series of games I designed about what soldiers do when they aren't fighting battles.

"Old Charlie" - c1986
The Napoleonic fox hunting game. Lots of British officers let off steam in the Peninsula, by chasing after a pack of fox hounds. The aim was to be closest to the pack of hounds when the kill is made, without heading off the commander in chief. Had a mechanism that simulated jumping hedges. Published in Miniature Wargames No 12.

Looting the Baggage Lawn Game - c1986
A short outside entertainment designed to be played on the Croquet Lawn at COW. Players had to roll on an events table, then rush to a bucket full of loot, and then return whilst the other players were still rolling.

Siege of Delhi - 1988
An Indian Mutiny game, played on squares, where the British have to fight their way into the centre of Delhi to relieve the garrison, through what was essentially a self generating maze.Used figures and model terrain, but was basically a board game. Put it on a Triples, and again, got noticed, I think.

Looting the Baggage - 1992
The figure game version, with model landsknechts and loads of tents and wagons. It had a card driven system, and players had head bands that showed how drunk they were, which they couldn't see. Went to Triples, and was well received.. Pipped to top participation game by Pete Berry's "Breakfast in the Bastion" (for which I designed the firing system).

Hack - 1993
The game of news reporting in war-torn Yugoslavia. Using a NATO briefing map, and modified space marines as reporters and camera men, the players had to visit places where news stories were breaking, and then decide whether to report the truth or make it up. The former was physically more dangerous than the latter. At the end of each round one player had to put on the flak jacket and grab the microphone and do a 30 second piece "to camera", signing off with name, location and channel, having been played in with the theme music. Derek helped me run this at several shows, and we won awards at a couple, I think.

Warriors on Ice - 1996
70mm plastic musketeers, recreating that famous scene from one of the Dick Lester Musketeer movies, when they have a duel on the ice.  Has a conservation of momentum type system, and a novel combat system involving rolling dice in a box lid with a picture of the target.

Dr Who and the Arena of Death - 2001
Pre-reboot Dr Who, of course.Players are various creatures, UNIT, the Doctor and an assistant. Each has their own victory conditions and the scenery tiles represent what ever the players need them to be. So a corridor can be between two rooms in a castle or on a space ship, as long as the previous occupant has left it. All very confusing and chaotic. Never got played to a conclusion, but loads of fun.

Military Memoirs - 2007
The old Parlour Game of Consequences, but adapted to create faux memoirs. Intended to be played after dinner, with a glass of port to hand.

The Elephant in the Room - 2010
A game of Roman Velites and an Elephant in 54mm. Used dominoes as a combat system. It was the SoA display game for a year, before being published as the re-subscription game.

Northampton 1460 - 2017
Ah yes. You should all be familiar with this. If you don't already own on, there's still time to order before Christmas. We're down to the last 70 or so copies, and there won't be a re-print, so don't put off your order longer than necessary.

There's some designs in there that I'm quite proud of, and were ground breaking at the time. The 1980s seem to have been a very fertile time, - how I did all of that whilst having a full time job, studying for professional qualifications and bringing up two small children is a mystery. Where did I find the eneregy and time?

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Hoplite Hinterlude

I haven't got a lot of painting done recently, except for the naked Gauls, so I set aside some time this week to do a unit of Zvezda Greek Hoplites.

These come from the boxes I got on the cheap at Peterborough. The thing is with hoplites is that I'm not a massive fan of them as an army, - they don't really do anything for me. However, for the periods I am interested in I sort of have to have them. And often need quite a lot*, so acquiring a load on the cheap was gratifying.

Still have to slog through the painting of them tho'. The figures are quite nice, it has to be said, although the boxes include a few too many swordsmen who can't be converted to spearmen. I therefore decided that I'd do a unit consisting entirely of swordsmen, representing the melee after all the spears have been broken and people are getting properly stuck in.

I took these pictures with my new phone. It's still a budget model, but the camera is amazing. You can clearly see the really crap paining on the shoulder fastenings on the linen cuirasses.

Even with my limitations, they've come up really nicely. I've got a couple of units of spearmen sitting on the desk to paint, now I've worked out how to convert them to holding the spear vertically without doing too much surgery to the figures.

The shield designs are transfers from Veni Vedi Vici, intended for 20mm Hat Hoplites. The Zvezda figures came with raised designs on most of the shields but I carved them off, which gives them a slightly battered appearance.

I think they'll do.

*I have a similar issue with landsknechts/Swiss. I could really do with more of them, but have no desire to increase my 25mm metal collection

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Making it up as I go along

I don't know why people come to this blog. Possibly for the toy soldier pictures, possibly for my wry observations on life in general as a wargamer and perhaps because I write my own rules and talk about their development.

I've fiddled with rule sets like, forever. At primary school my mate Derek and I knocked off sets of rules for every period imaginable, based on those in Don Featherstone's "Battles with Model Soldiers", that my big brother had copied out. Every set I ever bought was treated to heavy surgery, - except the Airfix Napoleonic Rules by Bruce Quarrie. So involved trying to fiddle with them was impossible.

I don' know what set was the first I wrote completely from scratch. It would probably be at University, I would think, under the dual influence of Pete Berry and my membership of WD. I know I was writing "committee games" and one off board game type things, but the first set of table top rules I'm not sure about.

Due to the inclement weather today I had no excuses anymore for not sorting out a load of stuff in the study. My historically neat filing system for rules of my own and others had fallen apart a bit, and there were several different versions of rules masquerading as the most current, which is annoying to say the least when you get them out to run a game.

Early rules were hand written, - a challenge for a lefty like me, taught to write in the mid 1960s, but I was liberated by the purchase of a portable typewriter from Boots whilst an undergraduate. That did solid service for about 5 or so years before I bought an Amstrad PCW, which was a gigantic leap forward for writing and amending rule sets. Then PCs were introduced at work and I was into the Windows age with my first PC, a Gateway 2000(?).

Many of the early files I don't have anymore, or can't read the discs, but I still have paper copies of most things. Today's tidy up has taken me down memory lane. So here we have a list of rules wot I wrote, as far as I can tell, together with serious adaptations.

Henri IV and the League 1986 French Wars of Religion
These arose out of my obsession with Henri de Navarre I developed at University. The firing system never really worked, but it featured a sliding scale odds table for the hand to hand, which I always thought worked quite well.
Early XIVth Century Cohesion 1989 1500 -1520
Mainly developed to play Henry VIII v French. Featured a complex cohesion mechanism which counted down from 100 by unit. Too clever for its own good.
"Heat and Dust"  1990 Indian Mutiny
A Science v Pluck variant. Did a lot of work adapting this, but it never really worked satisfactorily. Bombed at COW.
Over the Plonk 1991 WW1 infantry
Platoon level infantry Trench attack. Worked quite well, with system revolving around officers motivating/activating sections.
George and the Dragon 1992 WW1 Armour
Modified from "OTP", this was a tank driving game where you had to predict where you would be in three moves, without telling the infantry player. Famously, in our group, this is the game where Paddy Griffith drove over his own troops and machine gunned them on a pill box glacis.
ERIS 1994 1500-1520
A return to Henry VIII. The "Early Renaissance Infantry Slog" had some novel mechanisms, where the frontage of theu nit represented strength, and the depth quality of unit. The Commanders' main job was to ensure enough casualties were recycled back to the fighting ranks.
Sepoy 1994 Indian Mutiny
File Leader variant. These got published. 
ERICAS 1995 1500-1520
ERIS, only with Cavalry and Artillery as well.
Take Me To Your File Leader 1997 Sci-Fi
A File Leader variant to be played with GW Space Marines. Got quite close to publishing, but had a serious computer problem and lost the files. Only have a much written over printed copy. Featured the "Groms" fighting the "Yacky-Dars". The background to the game was the best bit.
Cityfight Africa 2000 Modern Africa
A squad level AK47 Republic style game, but intended for house to house fighting. Had a novel casualty system where hit markers were placed under the figure bases secretly, with varying degrees of damage. Only know what they are when an officer/medic attends the base.
De Matricae Bellae 2004 Ancient
Tabletop matrix game rules written for the Society of Ancients, based on Chris Engle's "Politics By Other Means"
DMB Squared 2005 Ancient/
The above rules, but expanded, and put on squares.
Red Army, White Guards 2006 RCW
A Divisional Level plus game, using the Richard Brooks "Red Squares" system as a base.
Trial By Battle 2009 Wars of the Roses 
Simple combat mechanisms )based on AMW), lots of work for Commanders to do, ensuring units still have arrows and so on.
Return to the River Don 2010 RCW
Command system features coercion to over come activation fails, - but at thep otential cost of unit mutiny. The command and control process was quite intricate, and plans can fall apart quickly. Armoured cars were handled mainly in respect of their morale effect.
Send Not To Know 2011 SCW
Card driven activation sequence, where players pass initiative between each other based upon how long a suit of cards they are dealt. The firing system altered the die type base on quality, and the melee system had a forced positive outcome, - ie you could not get draws.
If You Tolerate This 2012 SCW
A square based SCW system, with alternating initiative, based on motivation failures. Hand to hand system basically taken from SNTK, but firing system has its roots in Cityfight Africa. Got a makeover in 2017.
Taiping Era 2013 Mid 19th Century China
Intended for both the 1860 "Opium" War and the Taiping Rebellion. System is entirely driven by the EDNA system. Received a significant re-write in 2015.
Rapid Raphia 2014 Ancients
A card driven, limited resource game with 12 units a side, played on a grid.
To Ur is Human 2014 Ancients
Sumerian Warfare, using a Fight/Fright/Flight mechanism. The relative status of units is key as they try to intimidate one another. The core combat system isn't special, - it's based on AMW.
Hurried Hydaspes 2015 Ancients
Like Rapid Raphia, only with elephants
It's Getting a Bit Chile 2016 1879 Pacific War
Corps level actions in South America. Easy to learn with innovative "column shift" combat system and movement linked to disorder. 
Va t'en guerre 2018 Marlborough
Bespoke rules for the WSS which reinforce historical behaviours. Keeping units fresh is key, as is rallying back your cavalry behind your infantry.

It's not a bad list, - there appear to be some fallow years, but looking at my files these were filled mostly with  the development of Participation and After Dinner Games (I'll post a list of those in the near future, too). There's also a period around the turn of the century when I was doing a lot of Matrix Gaming, which culminated in the publication of DMB. I was also obsessing a bit over "AK47 Republic", and running the "Brixcon" tournament. I was also doing a lot on the release of Armati 2, so with all the other stuff I didn't seem to have the time to develop anything serious for myself. In 2007/8 I was doing a lot with AMW, including running demo games for the SoA on their shows stand, so that's a bit blank as well.

Having said this, it looks like a good run since 2009, with some opportunities for revisions. I might go back and revisit the RCW sometime soon.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Something to Peru-ve

After last week in Mexico we headed even further south, to the guano fields of the Atacama Desert, and a return to the 1879 "10 Cent War" between Bolivia, Peru (as allies) & Chile.

These chaps haven't been out of their boxes for a couple of years or so, and they are one of my favourite collections, and I do like the rules I wrote too. ("It's Getting a Bit Chile". About time I put them in the downloads, I suppose).

Without overdoing the scenario design I had a brigade of Chileans guarding an important border crossing, close to a nitrate "mine" (open cast diggings, really). Here's a battalion making itself at home in the foreman's hacienda.

The Bolivians were headed up by President Diaz, and included his elite units.

He was supported by a Peruvian large brigade, under Colonel Bolognesi. He had some proper cavalry. Both were played Richard.

This is the full battlefield. The Chileans are expecting some reinforcements to come up that road on the right hand side.

The Bolivians headed straight for the mine area, surrounded by the adobe wall (I seem to have lost my mine buildings and sheds, if I ever had any).

Steve had the on-table Chileans. They were defending the mine area and the two haciendas. The undefended area is a store house.

Richard was developing two separate attacks, one at the mine and one at the yellow hacienda.

Meanwhile Phil had arrived with some reinforcements. Richard tried to cover that flank with his cavalry. Phil charged in, leading the charge personally on his white horse.

The Chileans were being forced back in the mine head (well, more diggings really), and were evicted from the hacienda. The hand to hand fighting was brutal and desperate.

Phil was gaining the upper hand in the cavalry melee. His command figure is a bit of a firebrand in hand to hand (really, - that;s what his command card implies).

The Peruvians were on the roof of the yellow hacienda, waving their flag, whilst the fight in the mine was intensifying. Steve's General was stuck in, inspiring his troops. President Diaz, for Richard, was hanging back, providing more mature leadership.

The men from the yellow hacienda fled over the bridge, pursued by their attackers. The defenders in the left hand building got to shoot them up a bit.

Phil's cavalry continued to drive the Peruvians back. The Peruvian infantry was forced into a square to stay safe.

The troops in the mine area were finally broken, and looked like all dying in the raging river torrent.

The other building was soon in Richard's hands, as the Peruvians prevailed in a bayonet attack, pressed home in the face of intense rifle fire.

When we finished Richard was in possession of the objectives, but Phil was bearing down on him from his flank, having cleared off his cavalry.

Everyone was complementary about the game. Steve would have liked more toys and guns, which is fair, as he ended up as a bit of a punching bag.

I identified a few things I could do with working on in the rules, although nothing serious, so we might have another one or two games over the next few months.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Recon, Pudsey 2018

For our last show of the year we headed North, to Pudsey Civic Hall. This is the furthest North we've been with the NBS stand, but it seemed like a good idea to me as Mrs T and I could take the chance to drop in on our son and his partner who live in the frozen wastes of West Yorkshire. Phil drove up the following morning. Which was the wise choice. We took nearly 5 hours on the Friday, due to a serious crash that blocked the M1. Phil took 2 hours 10 minutes on Saturday morning.

The show is similar in size to Hereward and smaller than Alumwell. It is held in one of those 70s Civic Centres that could be anywhere in the country. Biggish hall with a stage at one end, with committee rooms up stairs. When I got there I couldn't find us in the programme. That's because we weren't. We weren't in the main hall either. We were upstairs. Next to the Bring and Buy. And the Fire Exit. We'd been given the three tables we'd asked for, but couldn't really use all of them as one had to be against the wall.

Next to us was a big modern tank game, being played on hexes.

People kept bringing stuff to the B&B all morning. Not too much interest in anything else in this room.

The room was pretty busy all day. We played "1460" 4 or 5 times, which isn't too bad, but it wasn't a very user friendly place for people to stop and sit. Had a couple of good long chats with folks about the WotR and Northampton, so not entirely wasted.

Nice looking ACW game. I don't often say that.

This is some WW2 game. The people running it seemed keen.

And the obligatory sf game. The globe is a drop ship of some description. That's the Dark Ages reenactors behind them

Didn't see a lot of originality in the games. The trade show part of it was not bad for a show of this size, - a lot of Warhammer stuff, but otherwise only really Pete Berry was there out of the Northern manufacturers. To be honest, they'd have been pushed to squeeze more in.

I'd probably have been more enthusiastic if I hadn't driven that far to get there. It's a good local show, and as such I'm glad we were able to support it. If we were to go back, I'd want a guarantee on a better location.

And that's us done for 2018.